Monday, 24 January 2011

Investigating archives - The Wiener Library

“If we don’t save our history, it will perish” say the Wiener Library [Institute of Contemporary History] on their website.

The library was started by Alfred Wiener, who having fled Nazi Germany in 1933 set up the Jewish Central Information Office in Amsterdam; then fleeing Amsterdam in 1939, he moved the institution to Manchester Square in London. His purpose: to expose the true nature of Nazism to the world.

The library continues this work to this day. Its collection includes well over 10,000 images, a small proportion of which have been digitised and can be previewed online; there are also books, pamphlets, eye-witness accounts and other documents.

It has for fifty years remained in a building on Devonshire Street, but its lease has now expired and it will be moving shortly to Russell Square.  It will then be next door to the newly formed Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, with which it will work.